Tim Chitwood

Columbus’ early voting hits last week with 17,356 votes cast, averaging 1,335 a day

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., when clocks should be turned back an hour.
Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., when clocks should be turned back an hour.

A quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, it’s Monday Mail.


Halloween is Wednesday, and that means the holidays are about to spring from the shadows, and if you think that’s scary, or that just watching the news is scary, or that it’s scary how early it’s going to get dark after Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, just think how long it’s going to take to figure out the vote totals Nov. 6.

The early vote’s going to swamp us like a storm surge. This could be one of those elections like in 2008, when the early vote turned the tide, in some area races.

When Columbus’ early voting poll closed for the day Saturday, 17,356 ballots had been cast since voting started Oct. 15.

Going back to the beginning, here’s how it went: 1,436 the first day; 1,414 the second; 1,410 the third; 1,498 the fourth; 1,587 the fifth; 608 the sixth; and 487 the seventh.

So come 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22, when the early voting poll reopened in the community room of the City Services Center at 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library, 8,440 people had voted the first week, averaging 1,206 a day.

And so the second week began, and burned rubber out the gate: 1,576 on Monday; 1,586 Tuesday; 1,651 Wednesday, dropping to 1,467 Thursday, back up to 1,566 Friday, and a much better Saturday than the first, at 1,071.

The cumulative total of 17,356 Saturday brought the average up to 1,335 a day.

Early voting continues 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday. Voters must bring a government-issued photo ID. Sample ballots are available at the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page,” www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.


In other scary news, both Columbus and Phenix City suggest that you take children trick-or-treating 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, and that you observe proper safety protocols, especially if you don’t have any children and you took some trick-or-treating anyway because you thought the government told you to. (“They said take kids 6 to 8 p.m.”)

Speaking of frightening possibilities, in the in-box today is an email from Groupon:

Hi there,

… According to a new survey, most people – and their pets – have a stronger connection to the paranormal than you might think. Groupon asked 2,000 people about their favorite spooky fall holiday and found that more than 60 percent of people say they’ve seen a ghost and more than 40 percent think their pet has too. In addition, one out of three people claim they’ve either lived or stayed in a house they’ve felt was haunted.

Speaking of haunted houses, the survey also found that one of the biggest ways people like to scare themselves during the month of October is by visiting one of these attractions. When visiting a haunted house, according to the research the average person becomes frightened in less than five seconds!

Other interesting findings included:

The top 10 fears identified by survey respondents included: snakes, spiders, sharks, drowning, heights, public speaking, failure, bees, cramped spaces and rejection.

Men were twice as likely than women to scream and run away when they saw a ghost.

Participants were asked to rate the decibel level of their screams: men rated their screams as the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner, and women said that when they shriek it sounds like a noisy restaurant….

Here’s a link to the full press release on the survey as well as a helpful infographic that you can use with a story.



Nicholas Halliwell,


Dear Nick:

Bees? People are afraid of bees? Even people who aren’t allergic to bee stings?

Does the part about men being twice as likely as women to scream and run away when they see a ghost mean a real ghost or a Halloween-attraction ghost? And if it means a real ghost, where do these men go to see ghosts?